In my last post I complained about some of the changes in the new Paint program. Today it’s time for unabashed admiration of the improvements and features in Windows 7 Paint. I will chat about a few of the new things and a few of the old features, and do it in the form of a walk-through demonstration – if it is reminiscent of a classroom demonstration you guessed right, have a seat.
Paint is still a single canvas drawing program. It now sports a Ribbon and has a “Paint button” like the “Office button” in Office 2007. Click it and you can select Open – the right pane shows recent files used in Paint. Clicking Open gets the normal Open dialog. Here I opened a picture of a gull.
We will have a bit of fun with this picture. Let’s see what that suspicious looking gull is thinking by adding a “thought” bubble as is customary in comics. But first, there isn’t enough room for that. As is customary in Paint, we can resize the canvas by dragging a resize handle. In Paint these are a bit small and unobtrusive.
When the pointer is released, the added area of the canvas takes the color shown in the Color 2 (background) color box, here it is white. Next I select the photo – or most of it – and move it to the lower left so there is room for the “decoration” I plan to add. This leaves the picture looking about like this: Next I fill the white area with the color from the adjoining edge of the photo.
Then I select the “Cloud callout” and draw the shape by dragging a rectangular area. While that shape draw rectangle is active – so long as you don’t click outside the area – you can change the size, the location (by dragging), the color and brush for the shape, the color of the fill. And you can see the result by just hovering over the tools in the ribbon.
There is no way to convey the neat way these tools work, you just have to try it yourself! I set the size to the maximum setting, the Outline to “Crayon” and the Color 1 to orange.
So what is the gull thinking? The text tool is just as neat. You can put the text box anywhere and compose the text in the font and size then drag it to the proper location. You can edit and modify the text just like in a word processing program, by selecting and modifying it.
Well now we have our masterpiece. But I am not quite done.
I want the final picture to be just 640 pixels wide. Here the new Paint has made the resizing chore much more easy to use.
The resize tool now has a “Maintain aspect ration” check box and the option to resize in pixels, not just in percentage. By the way the resize tool can be used on the whole canvas, or, if an area is selected, on just that area. Click on the image for a better view.
So there you have it. We demonstrated loading a file, resizing the canvas, the new shapes and the new features of the text tool, and finally resizing the whole picture. One additional comment: The default format for Paint is now PNG to save the image without degradation.
The new Paint program is really much improved and a pleasure to use. Enjoy!